Nick Kyrgios has left the tennis world in a state of shock after announcing that he is withdrawing from the Australian Open 2023 due to injury.
A “devastated” Kyrgios made the announcement regarding his decision to step away from the competition to reporters at Melbourne Park on Monday, January 16, declaring that a knee injury was preventing him from competing.
“(This is) one of the most important tournaments of my career. Hasn’t been easy at all,” Kyrgios told reporters
“I’m obviously extremely disappointed.”
Despite his disappointment at having to step down, Kyrgios is determined to make a return to the court at “full strength”.
“That’s life. Injury is a part of the sport. I guess I can draw some inspiration from someone like Thanasi (Kokkinakis) who has had a bunch of injuries and has bounced back,” he said.
“I’m not doubting I will be back to my full strength and playing the tennis I was playing prior to this event. I’m devastated obviously. It’s my home tournament. I’ve had some great memories here. Obviously last year winning the title in doubles and playing the best tennis of my life probably.
“Then going into this event as one of the favourites, it’s brutal. All I can do now is just look forward, do what I need to do and come back.”
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 16, 2023
Kyrgios’ physiotherapist Will Maher offered further insight into Kyrgios’ condition, explaining that the decision to withdraw was made in order “to prevent him from having further injury or making that injury worse”
“To Nick’s credit, he did try everything, to the point even last week he was having a procedure called a fenestration and drainage where they use a syringe to try and drain the cyst,” Maher said.
“We came to Melbourne with the hope there might be some pressure relieved from that procedure and he’d have some relief and be able to get up to a level he was comfortable to compete.
“We used the match, the charity event against Novak, as a gauge to see if he could compete at that highest level. He didn’t pull up great, and he still tried to give himself every chance in the following days to have subsequent training. But it was clear that with each passing session that he was getting sorer and sorer.
“The situation now is, we want to prevent him from having further injury or making that injury worse. So now he’ll go back to Canberra at the end of the week, he’ll have an arthroscopic procedure to clean up his lateral meniscus and remove the paralabral cyst.”
The decision to withdraw means that Kyrgios will miss the Australian Open for the first time since his debut in 2014.
Following the announcement, fans from far and wide took to social media to offer their messages of support while wishing Kyrgios a “speedy recovery”.
BIG PITY ????
But health matters most, by far.
Get well soon !
— Sacha Wolfgang Gortchakoff (@SachiGortchi) January 16, 2023
Oh man. We were waiting for Djokovic vs Kyrgios
— The monk (@monkparam) January 16, 2023
Get well soon king, gl with the surgery @NickKyrgios
— Leon (@leoncfc11) January 16, 2023
Oh bummer…. He’s great to watch when he’s playing well and great to whinge about when he’s carrying on.. he really is a win win…. Take care Nick and hope to see you at your best next year AO
— Hellz (@hellzjd) January 16, 2023
— Alex Sar #DonTheSash (@alexmatthewsar) January 16, 2023
Best of luck with surgery and recovery Nick. Come back better than ever ????????
— Tracey Miller ???????????? (@traceymiller26) January 16, 2023
Wishing you a speedy recovery @NickKyrgios
— Craig Tiley (@CraigTiley) January 16, 2023
Kyrgios’ withdrawal from the Australian Open follows his exit from the Adelaide International in early January after it was revealed that he was recovering from an ankle injury.
Despite considerable public backlash for his decision to step away, organisers for the Adelaide International were more understanding and wished Kyrgios all the best in his recovery.
“The Adelaide International can confirm that Nick Kyrgios will not compete in Week 2 of the tournament,” the tournament said in a statement at the time.
“The event is clearly disappointed in this decision as would be the fans who support him, but injury happens and health is always the priority.
“The Adelaide International wishes Nick Kyrgios the best of luck and a quick recovery, understanding the importance of the Australian Open preparation. He is welcome back to the Adelaide International anytime.”